This is how we can reduce our impact on the environment whilst living in Cardiff
Helping the planet isn’t as hard as you think
With the environment currently being a hot topic across all media platforms, many people are left wondering how they can make a difference to help the planet. Some of us are often left daunted by the constant information we are told on how to reduce our impact on the environment, however changing just a few things to help the planet can actually be quite easy.
So, what can Cardiff students do to make an impact? We’ve been speaking members of the Cardiff People and Planet Society, who have given us some useful tips on how you can make a change.
Stop using single use plastics
As you may be aware, the EU have just voted to end single use plastics, with the UK government announcing their plans to do the same shortly after. While this is a great step in the right direction, it’s unlikely to be implemented for a few years. In the meantime, try to avoid single use plastics where possible. Bring cutlery from home to eat your packed lunch, use Tupperware boxes, and bring reusable water bottles to uni with you instead of buying disposable plastic ones. Cardiff University are currently selling reusable flasks in their campus cafes – not only is this a great way to reduce waste, but you also receive a discount on hot drinks when using one. Big nationwide brands such as Greggs, Starbucks and Costa also offer these cups with the benefit of cheaper coffees.
You don't need to become vegan to eat sustainably
Despite popular belief, eating sustainably doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out every single animal product. It’s true, the livestock industry is the single biggest contributor to greenhouse gases, with 90 per cent of all the land cleared in the Amazon rainforest since 1970 being used for livestock. However, consciously reducing your meat and dairy intake can make a huge impact. If you’re feeling a little more extreme, and fancy going full veggie/vegan, you’ll be interested to know that it takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, in comparison to 244 gallons used for one pound of tofu. Either way there's some great vegan and veggie options when eating out in Cardiff and eating veggie on a student budget saves so much money – even if you still eat meat one or twice a week.
Get some exercise whilst saving the world
Cardiff is hardly the biggest city in the world. It doesn’t take long to walk anywhere (unless you’re in Uni Hally – sorry), and with the new addition of Nextbike, it’s even easier for students to get around the city. It's so cheap and ends up being a fun way to travel. Also, if you live in Taly and don’t fancy walking into town, get the bus from North Road instead of a taxi – it’s cheaper and better for the planet.
I think most of us can agree that printing out everything isn’t necessary in 2018. Unless vital, try to avoid excessive printing and if possible, trade your notepad for a laptop. As we all know, most essays are given in online on Turn It In nowadays anyway.
Try to use the correct bins
We’re all aware of the rubbish situation in Cathays – it’s pretty grim. It may sound simple, but if you do want to make an impact, make sure to place your rubbish in the correct bin bags. Black bin bags are for non-recyclable items, and the green bags are for anything which can be recycled – it will usually say this on the packaging too. Additionally, dispose of all cigarette butts in the black bin. Filters can take between 18 months and 10 years to decompose depending on the conditions.
Join an environmental volunteering scheme
The uni also has lots of environmental based volunteering schemes that you can get involved in if you want to make a further impact to save the planet. The major ones include Clean Up Cardiff run by Cardiff University Students' Union which is dedicated to cleaning up Cathays, local beaches and rivers. And also Environmental Champions which is a group consisting of volunteers from Cardiff Met, Cardiff Uni, and USW, which organises and assists in environmental events around the Cardiff area.
Saving the environment whilst at uni isn't as difficult as it sounds.